CHESTER, Pa. – The No. 18/19 Stevenson University football team used a trio of 50-plus yard plays and scored 38 straight points in one stretch to defeat Widener University 45-21 in a battle of the lone two remaining teams in the Middle Atlantic Conference at Quick Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs (6-0, 5-0 MAC) have now posted their best-ever start, eclipsing the 5-0 start from a season ago. Stevenson has also won eight straight games dating back to last season, matching the longest win streak in program history.
Widener (4-2, 4-1 MAC) held a 14-7 lead 1:25 into the second when Chris Randle capped a 55-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run, his second of the afternoon. Stevenson countered with a 12-play, 65-yard drive that chewed up nearly seven minutes that was capped by a two-yard run by sophomore Jainard Crawley-Lambert to tie the game 14-14 at the 6:31 mark.
The Mustangs took a 21-14 lead into halftime as junior Preston Addo ripped off a 66-yard punt return for a score 28 seconds before halftime following a three-and-out by the Pride.
Stevenson had the only points of the third quarter, with senior Tim Sternfeld converting a 27-yard field goal with six seconds led in the frame. The score was set up by a high snap, followed by a blocked kick by senior Austin Meyers on Widener's punt attempt on 4th-and-6 from their own 40 that saw the Mustangs start on the Pride 13, but the guests mustered just three yards in three plays before Sternfeld's kick.
The game was put out of reach as Stevenson scored 21 points in a span of 3:57 early in the fourth. A completion from junior Dan Williams to senior Devonte Williams saw Devonte Williams race down the left side 83 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-14 with 12:22 remaining.
After the two teams traded empty drives, the Mustangs, who were in jeopardy of seeing their string of 38 straight games with a takeaway come to an end, posted pick-sixes on back-to-back Widener plays. The Pride's Alex Krivda was intercepted by senior Austin Tennessee at the Widener 40, with Tennessee racing in for his second interception return for a touchdown this season. After the ensuing kickoff, Krivda was picked off by junior Mike Datu at the 24, who went in to make it 45-14 with 7:25 remaining.
Randle halted Widener's scoring drought when he ran in for his third touchdown of the game, a one-yard run, with 4:45 left.
Widener's opening drive stalled at midfield but a fumble on the punt return by Stevenson gave the Pride the ball at their own 15. Randle punched it in with 9:36 to give the hosts a 7-0 lead. Stevenson countered with a 12-play, 78-yard drive capped by a 32-yard pass from Dan Williams to Devin Salisbury to tie the game with 3:55 to go in the first.
Dan Williams finished 18-26 passing for 240 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Salisbury caught 10 balls for 95 yards, while Devonte Williams and junior Dequan Ellison each had three catches. Crawley-Lambert carried 11 times for 36 yards and a score.
Defensively, sophomore Izaiha Pitts had 11 tackles, while Tennessee finished with seven, including two for a loss. Sophomore Ashton Leschke also finished with seven tackles. Stevenson's two fourth quarter interceptions give the Mustangs a turnover in 39 straight games and an interception in 21 straight dating back to 2014. The Mustang defense has surrendered just 50 points over the last four contests.
Stevenson outgained Widener 306-265, with the Pride racking up 200 of their yards on the ground behind Randle's 25 carries for 132 yards. It marks the third time this season the Mustangs have held an opponent under 300 yards of offense. Stevenson also outgained an opponent for the fifth time in six contests.
Stevenson returns home for the first time in nearly a month when it hosts Delaware Valley University in a key Middle Atlantic Conference contest next Saturday (Oct. 22) as part of Stevenson's Homecoming festivities. Next Saturday's game is sold out, but can be seen on the Mustang Sports Network at gomustangsports.tv.